Print 21 comment(s) - last by inperfectdarkn.. on Mar 27 at 9:56 AM

A virtual Congress would make elected leaders more accessible to the constituents according to supporter

New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce (R) introduced a resolution last week that would allow the creation of a "Virtual Congress." According to the proposition put forward by Pearce, lawmakers would be able to use video conferencing and other remote working technology to conduct their daily duties in Washington without leaving their home district.

Pearce proposes allowing lawmakers in Washington to use remote technology to allow lawmakers to hold hearings and vote on legislation remotely. Pearce believes that the use of modern technology will allow lawmakers to spend more time in their home districts with the people that elected them and less time (and money) flying to Washington.

Steve Pearce

“Thanks to modern technology, members of Congress can debate, vote, and carry out their constitutional duties without having to leave the accountability and personal contact of their congressional districts. Keeping legislators closer to the people we represent would pull back Washington's curtain and allow constituents to see and feel, first-hand, their government at work," Pearce told The Hill in a statement.
Interestingly, Pearce's legislation comes after several high-profile technology companies have announced that they will no longer allow telecommuting.

Yahoo announced in February that it would require all telecommuters to come into an office starting in June of 2013. Best Buy announced earlier this month that it would no longer be allowing corporate employees to telecommute.

Source: The Hill

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I have a better plan...
By retrospooty on 3/25/2013 9:57:34 AM , Rating: 5
Just take the year off. the more congress acts, the worse we get. Just stop working and let us heal.

You might say "well, they had to work to avoid the fiscal cliff"... Don't forget, they created the fiscal cliff. Had they taken time off in previous years when they manifested the issues we are in, we wouldn't have these issues at all.

RE: I have a better plan...
By Chadder007 on 3/25/2013 10:05:02 AM , Rating: 5
That or just Outsource congress to China, like they have manufacturing. :)

RE: I have a better plan...
By spamreader1 on 3/25/2013 11:57:11 AM , Rating: 2
This deserves a 6.

RE: I have a better plan...
By FastEddieLB on 3/25/2013 2:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
Give this a 6

RE: I have a better plan...
By theapparition on 3/25/2013 10:35:13 AM , Rating: 3
Guaranteed this won't pass.

We all know that the only time things get done is with the backroom deal.

And 75% of Congressmen like the travel. They'd be pretty pissed off if they couldn't visit their mistresses in DC as often.

RE: I have a better plan...
By RufusM on 3/25/2013 11:46:34 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, the Backroom Deal is a staple of Congressional negotiations. I would bet they're not willing to have those private discussions online or over the phone since there's so much room for capturing the conversation and publicly leaking it.

RE: I have a better plan...
By JediJeb on 3/26/2013 3:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they could add "Instanced Backrooms" for the virtual Congress just like in the MMOs.

RE: I have a better plan...
By NellyFromMA on 3/25/2013 7:55:51 PM , Rating: 3
Honestly, I thought it was a really great idea. The problem with a republic has traditionally been how out of touch and as a result easily corrupted these representatives tend to become. Keeping them in their districts longer without sacrificing day-to-day activities sounds like just the type of thinking we need to keep the representatives we elect close to the people who actually elected them.

Congress is a complete mess, but I'm not really gonna just harp on it the one time anything of any actual value was proposed.

That wouldn't really incentivize further progress and future good ideas.

RE: I have a better plan...
By TSS on 3/26/2013 10:41:44 AM , Rating: 2
Actually i thought it'd be a bad one.

I'd rather have all these people in the same location then in undisclosed locations all throughout the country if you catch my drift.

Here's an idea: if they can use internet to work with washington why can't they use internet to socialize with their districts? With the money they make they can easily just give some webdeveloper $1000 to set up a website with a forum, then visit that half an hour a day from their DC homes. No need to even reply, just read about the issues plagueing the people.

Why won't they do that? Because they choose to socialize with the lobbyists, who give them money for their time. I find it hard to belive no constituent ever traveled to DC to try and speak with their congressman, how many actually get through i wonder.

When they're all in congress atleast you can protest outside of congress and you know they're in there. You could always march in there and put them into real danger. Now imagine that same crowd outside of a empty buiding probably not even filled with the servers running the conference programs.

Then it's just all of the protesters and none of the politicians in the same location. Call me a cynic but somehow i feel that will not end well....

RE: I have a better plan...
By stilltrying on 3/25/2013 11:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I would like to triple their salary to do absolutely nothing. It would save us in the long run. Dont pass any new laws or anything else. No sarcasm here whatsoever I really wish that this could be done. Give them all a million dollars just to go home for the year. Government is the problem not the solution.

Great Idea
By DaveLessnau on 3/25/2013 10:23:11 AM , Rating: 4
Great idea. We just have to make sure there's a big AI (call it Colossus) that monitors everything they do and runs 50,000 volts through the chair of any Congressman who submits any bill that isn't explicitly authorized by the Constitution.

RE: Great Idea
By Spoelie on 3/25/2013 10:29:30 AM , Rating: 2
Just saw the movie "Eagle Eye", kinda the same concept except there the AI decides on its own they're a worthless bunch after all and goes on a killing spree...

RE: Great Idea
By DNAgent on 3/25/2013 11:40:01 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds legit...

RE: Great Idea
By lagomorpha on 3/25/2013 12:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'd vote for HAL 9000 in 2016.

RE: Great Idea
By Griffinhart on 3/25/2013 1:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
What? and use 12 year old technology?

Don't we already have a Virtual Congress?
By Shadowself on 3/25/2013 10:17:19 AM , Rating: 3
They virtually show up.
They virtually work on what's best for the country.
They virtually care about anything other than their next election.
They virtually work on new bills (other than self serving ones).
They virtually stop talking (and almost never listen).

How more virtual could they get unless they are 100% disbanded?

RE: Don't we already have a Virtual Congress?
By AntiM on 3/25/2013 11:44:10 AM , Rating: 2
and carry out their constitutional duties without having to leave the accountability..

There's must be some underlying (evil) reason, I'm sure that the last thing Congress wants to do is carry out their constitutional duties and do what's right for their constituents and be accountable.

By Shadowself on 3/25/2013 12:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
The underlying reason is fund raising. A congressman's ability to raise funds for his next election is significantly hampered by his being in Washington. True, he has more access to some of the "big money" by being in Washington, but for congressmen a significant fraction (for some much more than half) of their reelection funding is local. Having more face time with the locals affords them the chance to build a larger war chest for reelection.

I guess he doesn't like the stench
By omgwtf8888 on 3/25/2013 12:05:38 PM , Rating: 5
Even if he gets away from the cesspool, that is congress, the stink will never leave. I personally feel that the entire lot of them should be labeled as a terrorist organization so we can begin targeting them with our killer drones. If you do a side by side between congress and Al qaeda the congress has succeeded in terrorizing the American public to a much greater extent. Term limits for the win!

By retrospooty on 3/25/2013 12:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
Finally... Someone gets it!

This deserves a 6 for truth, irony and current event/pop culture at the same time.

Here's a better idea
By inperfectdarkness on 3/27/2013 9:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
If we have the technology to go with video-conferencing, we also have the technology to eliminate representative democracy altogether.

Let's just do away with congress and form a direct-democracy. Everyone can text in their votes on their cell-phones. Or even better, create a social-networking site purely to record and track individual votes. Sure, there might be concern over some corruption, but it can't possibly be any worse than the system is now...and at least everyone would get a say.

It sure as heck would hamper special-interest groups.

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